EthnonymThe Albanians ( sq, Shqiptarët) and their country Albania ( sq, Shqipëria) have been identified by many s. The most common native is "Shqiptar", plural "Shqiptarë"; the name "Albanians" ( : ''Albanoi/Arbanitai/Arbanites''; : ''Albanenses/Arbanenses'') was used in medieval documents and gradually entered from which other similar derivative names emerged, many of which were or still are in use, such as English "Albanians"; Italian "Albanesi"; German "Albaner"; "Arvanites", "Alvanitis" (Αλβανίτης) plural: "Alvanites" (Αλβανίτες), "Alvanos" (Αλβανός) plural: "Alvanoi" (Αλβανοί); "Arnaut", "Arnavut"; "Arbanasi" (Арбанаси), "Albanci" (Албанци); Aromanian "Arbineş" and so on. The term "Albanoi" (Αλβανοί) is first encountered twice in the works of Byzantine historian , and the term "Arvanitai" (Αρβανίται) is used once by the same author. He referred to the "Albanoi" as having taken part in a revolt against the in 1043, and to the "Arbanitai" as subjects of the Duke of Dyrrachium (modern ). These references have been disputed as to whether they refer to the people of Albania.. "It is still disputed by scholars that those Albanoi from 1042 were Normans from Sicily, outhern Italy or if they are in fact the Albanoi large clan of that belongs to the many clans of Albaniansfound in Albanian lands during this time frame.". Historian E. Vranoussi believes that these "Albanoi" were Normans from Sicily. She also notes that the same term (as "Albani") in medieval Latin meant "foreigners". The reference to "Arvanitai" from Attaliates regarding the participation of Albanians in a rebellion around 1078 is undisputed.. "It was supposed that those Albanoi from 1042 were Normans from Sicily, called by an archaic name (the Albanoi were an independent tribe from Southern Italy). The following instance is indisputable. It comes from the same Attaliates, who wrote that the Albanians (Arbanitai) were involved in the 1078; rebellion of..." In later Byzantine usage, the terms "Arbanitai" and "Albanoi" with a range of variants were used interchangeably, while sometimes the same groups were also called by the classicising name Illyrians.. The first reference to the Albanian language dates to the latter 13th century (around 1285). The ethnonym ''Albanian'' has been hypothesized to be connected to and stem from the '' '',... an Illyrian tribe mentioned by with their centre at the city of . Linguists believe that the ''alb'' part in the root word originates from an Indo-European term for a type of mountainous topography, from which other words such as '' '' are derived.. "Linguists believe that the 'Alb-’ element comes from the Indo-European word for a type of mountainous terrain, from which the word 'Alps' is also derived." Through the root word ''alban'' and its rhotacized equivalents ''arban'', ''albar'', and ''arbar'', the term in Albanian became rendered as ''Arbëneshë/Arbëreshë'' for the people and ''Arbënia/Arbëria'' for the country.. "Their traditional designation, based on a root *''alban''- and its rhotacized variants *''arban''-, *''albar''-, and *''arbar''-, appears from the eleventh century onwards in Byzantine chronicles (''Albanoi'', ''Arbanitai'', ''Arbanites''), and from the fourteenth century onwards in Latin and other Western documents (''Albanenses'', ''Arbanenses'')." The Albanian language was referred to as ''Arbnisht'' and ''Arbërisht''.. "Albanian is an Indo-European language, but like modern Greek and Armenian, it does not have any other closely related living language. Within the Indo-European family, it forms a group of its own. In Albanian, the language is called shqip. Albania is called ''Shqipëri'', and the Albanians call themselves ''shqiptarë''. Until the fifteenth century the language was known as ''Arbërisht'' or ''Arbnisht'', which is still the name used for the language in Italy and Greece. The Greeks refer to all the varieties of Albanian spoken in Greece as Arvanitika. In the second century AD, Ptolemy, the Alexandrian mathematician, astronomer and geographer, used the name ''Albanoi'' to refer to an Illyrian tribe that used to live in what is now central Albania. During the Middle Ages the population of that area was referred to as ''Arbanori'' or ''Albanon''. It is clear that the words ''Arbëresh'', ''Arvanitika'', and even ''Albanian'' and ''Albania'' are all related to the older name of the language." While the Albania for the general region inhabited by the Albanians does have connotations to Classical Antiquity, the Albanian language employs a different ethnonym, with modern Albanians referring to themselves as ''Shqip(ë)tarë'' and to their country as ''Shqipëria''. Two etymologies have been proposed for this ethnonym: one, derived from the etymology from the Albanian word for eagle (shqipe, var., shqiponjë). In Albanian , this word denotes a bird , dating from the times of Skanderbeg as displayed on the . The other is within scholarship that connects it to the verb 'to speak' (''me shqiptue'') from the Latin "''excipere''". In this instance the Albanian endonym like '' '' and others would originally have been a term connoting "those who speak ntelligibly, the same language.. "Prior to the emergence of the modern self-ethnonym ''Shqiptarë'' in the mid-16th century (for the first time it was recorded in 1555 by the Catholic Gheg, Gjon Buzuku, in his missal), North Albanians (Ghegs) referred to themselves as ''Arbën'', and South Albanians (Tosks) ''Arbër''. Hence, the self-ethnonym ''Arbëreshë'' of the present-day Italo-Albanians (numbering about 100,000) in southern Italy and Sicily, whose ancestors, in the wake of the Ottoman wars, emigrated from their homeland in the 14th century. These self-ethnonyms perhaps influenced the Byzantine Greek Arvanites for 'Albanians,’ which was followed by similar ones in Bulgarian and Serbian (''Arbanasi''), Ottoman (''Arnaut''), Romanian (''Arbănas''), and Aromanian (''Arbineş''). It is clear that scholars and Albanians themselves agree that they do not agree on any single etymology of the ethnonym 'Albanian.' A similar predicament is faced by the self-ethnonym ''Shqiptarë''. The most popular scholarly explanation is that it was formed by analogy to 'Slavs' (*''Slovene''), believed to be derived from ''slovo'' ('word'), and by extension, from *''sluti'' ('to speak clearly.') The last explanation semantically contrasts with Slavic ''Niemiec'' ('mute,’'stammering,’'babbling'), and Greek 'barbarian' (from ''barbaros'' 'those who stammer, babble'). Hence, ''Shqiptarë'' could be derived from Albanian ''shqipoi'' (from Latin ''excipere'') for 'to speak clearly, to understand.' The Albanian public favors the belief that their self-ethnonym stems from ''shqipe'' ('eagle') found on the Albanian national flag." The words ''Shqipëri'' and ''Shqiptar'' are attested from 14th century onward, but it was only at the end of 17th and beginning of the early 18th centuries that the placename ''Shqipëria'' and the ethnic demonym ''Shqiptarë'' gradually replaced ''Arbëria'' and ''Arbëreshë'' amongst speakers. That era brought about religious and other sociopolitical changes. As such a new and generalised response by Albanians based on ethnic and linguistic consciousness to this new and different Ottoman world emerging around them was a change in ethnonym.. "The Albanians of today call themselves ''shqiptarë'', their country ''Shqipëri'', and their language ''shqipe''. These terms came into use between the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries. Foreigners call them ''albanesi'' (Italian), ''Albaner'' (German), ''Albanians'' (English), ''Alvanos'' (Greek), and ''Arbanasi'' (old Serbian), the country ''Albania'', ''Albanie'', ''Albanien'', ''Alvania'', and ''Albanija'', and the language ''Albanese'', ''Albanisch'', ''Albanian'', ''Alvaniki'', and ''Arbanashki'' respectively. All these words are derived from the name ''Albanoi'' of an Illyrian tribe and their center ''Albanopolis'', noted by the astronomer of Alexandria, Ptolemy, in the 2nd century AD. ''Alban'' could be a plural of ''alb''- ''arb''-, denoting the inhabitants of the plains (ÇABEJ 1976). The name passed over the boundaries of the Illyrian tribe in central Albania, and was generalised for all the Albanians. They called themselves ''arbënesh'', ''arbëresh'', the country ''Arbëni'', ''Arbëri'', and the language ''arbëneshe'', ''arbëreshe''. In the foreign languages, the Middle Ages denominations of these names survived, but for the Albanians they were substituted by ''shqiptarë'', ''Shqipëri'' and ''shqipe''. The primary root is the adverb ''shqip'', meaning "clearly, intelligibly". There is a very close semantic parallel to this in the German noun ''Deutsche'', "the Germans" and "the German language" (Lloshi 1984) Shqip spread out from the north to the south, and ''Shqipni/Shqipëri'' is probably a collective noun, following the common pattern of ''Arbëni'', ''Arbëri''. The change happened after the Ottoman conquest because of the conflict in the whole line of the political, social, economic, religious, and cultural spheres with a totally alien world of the Oriental type. A new and more generalised ethnic and linguistic consciousness of all these people responded to this."
Historical recordsLittle is known about the Albanian people prior to the 11th century, though a text compiled around the beginning of the 11th century in the contains a possible reference to them. It is preserved in a written in the traced back to the 17th century but published in the 20th century by Radoslav Grujic. It is a fragment of a once longer text that endeavours to explain the origins of peoples and languages in a question-and-answer form similar to a . The fragmented manuscript differentiated the world into 72 languages and three religious categories including Christians, half-believers and non-believers. Grujic dated it to the early 11th century and, if this and the identification of the ''Arbanasi'' as Albanians are correct, it would be the earliest written document referring to the Balkan Albanians as a people or language group..
It can be seen that there are various languages on earth. Of them, there are five Orthodox languages:The first undisputed mention of Albanians in the historical record is attested in Byzantine source for the first time in 1079–1080, in a work titled ''History'' by Byzantine historian , , Syrian, Iberian ( ) and Russian. Three of these have Orthodox alphabets: Greek, Bulgarian and Iberian ( ). There are twelve languages of half-believers: Alamanians, , Magyars ( ), Indians, Jacobites, , , Lechs ( ), Arbanasi (Albanians), , Hizi and . , who referred to the ''Albanoi'' as having taken part in a revolt against in 1043 and to the ''Arbanitai'' as subjects of the duke of . It is disputed, however, whether the "Albanoi" of the events of 1043 refers to Albanians in an ethnic sense or whether "Albanoi" is a reference to from under an archaic name (there was also a tribe in Italy by the name of "Albanoi"). However a later reference to Albanians from the same Attaleiates, regarding the participation of Albanians in a rebellion around 1078, is undisputed. At this point, they are already fully Christianized, although and folklore are part of the Paleo-Balkan pagan mythology,. in particular showing Greek influence..
LanguageThe majority of the Albanian people speak the which comprises an independent branch within the family of s. It is a to any other known living language in Europe and indeed no other language in the world has been conclusively associated to its branch. Its origin remains conclusively unknown but it is believed it has descended from an ancient Paleo-Balkan language. The Albanian language is spoken by approximately 5 million people throughout the as well as by a more substantial number by around the Americas, Europe and Oceania. Numerous variants and dialects of Albanian are used as an in Albania, and . The language is also spoken in other countries whence it is officially recognised as a in such countries as , Italy, , and . There are two principal of the Albanian language traditionally represented by and . The ethnogeographical dividing line is traditionally considered to be the with Gheg spoken in the north of it and Tosk in the south. Dialects spoken in ( Arbanasi and Istrian), , and Northwestern are Gheg dialects, while those dialects spoken in ( and Çam), Southwestern and Italy ( Arbëreshë) are Tosk dialects. The Arbëreshë and languages represent varieties of the Albanian language spoken by the Arbëreshës and in and Southern Greece respectively. They retain elements of medieval Albanian vocabulary and pronunciation that are no longer used in modern Albanian language however both varieties are classified as s in the . Most of the Albanians in Albania and the are and have the ability to understand, speak, read, or write a foreign language. As defined by the Institute of Statistics of Albania, 39.9% of the 25 to 64 years old Albanians in Albania are able to use at least one foreign language including English (40%), Italian (27.8%) and (22.9%). The origin of the Albanian language remains a contentious subject that has given rise to numerous . The hypothesis of Albanian being one of the descendant of the ( ) is based on where the languages were spoken however not enough archaeological evidence is left behind to come therefore to a definite conclusion. Another hypothesis associates the Albanian language with the . This theory takes exception to the territory, since the language was spoken in an area distinct from Albania, and no significant population movements have been recorded in the period when the shift from one language to the other is supposed to have occurred..
Middle AgesThe Albanian people maintain a very chequered and tumultuous history behind them, a fact explained by their geographical position in the at the cultural and political crossroad between the east and west. The issue surrounding the origin of the Albanian people has long been debated by historians and s for centuries. Many scholars consider the Albanians, in terms of evidences, the descendants of ancient populations of the , either the , or another Paleo-Balkan group. There are insufficient evidences to derive an accurate conclusion and therefore Albanian origins still remain a mystery. Historically known as the ''Arbër'' or ''Arbën'' by the 11th century and onwards, they traditionally inhabited the mountainous area to the west of and the upper valley of the ... "The geographical location of the mysterious 'Arbanon' has at last no doubt been settled by the researches of Alain Ducellier. In the 11th century at least it was the name given to the mountainous area to the west of Lake Ohrid and the upper valley of the river Shkumbin..." Though it was in 1190 when they established their first independent entity, the Principality of Arbër (Arbanon), with its seat based in .. Immediately after the decline of the Progon dynasty in 1216, the principality came under and next his son-in-law . Finally, the Principality was dissolved in ca. 1255 by the followed by an unsuccessful rebellion between 1257–1259 supported by the Despotate of Epirus. In the meantime Manfred, King of Sicily profited from the situation and launched an invasion into Albania. His forces, led by Philippe Chinard, captured , Berat, Vlorë, Island of Zvërnec, Spinarizza, their surroundings and the southern coastline of Albania from Vlorë to Butrint. In 1266 after Battle of Benevento, defeating Manfred's forces and killing him, the Treaty of Viterbo of 1267 was signed, with Charles I, King of Sicily acquiring rights on Manfred's dominions in Albania. Local noblemen such as Andrea Vrana refused to surrender Manfred's former domains, and in 1271 negotiations were initiated. In 1272 the Kingdom of Albania (medieval), Kingdom of Albania was created after a delegation of Albanian noblemen from Durrës signed a treaty declaring union with the Kingdom of Sicily under Charles. Charles soon imposed military rule, new taxes, took sons of Albanian noblemen hostage to ensure loyalty, and confiscated lands for Capetian House of Anjou, Angevin nobles. This led to discontent among Albanian noblemen, several of whom turned to Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII. In late 1274, Byzantine forces helped by local Albanian noblemen capture Berat and Butrint. Charles' attempt to advance towards Constantinople failed at the Siege of Berat (1280–1281). A Byzantine counteroffensive ensued, which drove the Angevins out of the interior by 1281. The Sicilian Vespers further weakened the position of Charles, who died in 1285. By the end of the 13th century, most of Albania was under Byzantine Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos. In 1296 Serbian king Stephen Milutin captured Durrës. In 1299 Andronikos II married his daughter Simonis to Milutin and the lands he had conquered were considered as dowry. In 1302, Philip I, Prince of Taranto, grandson of Charles, claimed his rights on the Albanian kingdom and gained the support of local Albanian Catholics who preferred him over the Orthodox Serbs and Greeks, as well as the support of Pope Benedict XI. In the summer of 1304, the Serbs were expelled from the city of Durrës by the locals who submitted themselves to Angevin rule. Prominent Albanian leaders during this time were the Thopia family, ruling in an area between the Mat and Shkumbin rivers, and the Muzaka family in the territory between the Shkumbin and Vlorë. In 1279, Gjon I Muzaka, who remained loyal to the Byzantines and resisted Angevin conquest of Albania, was captured by the forces of Charles but later released following pressure from Albanian nobles. The Muzaka family continued to remain loyal to the Byzantines and resisted the expansion of the Serbian Kingdom (medieval), Serbian Kingdom. In 1335 the head of the family, Andrea II Muzaka, gained the title of Despot (court title), Despot and other Muzakas pursued careers in the Byzantine government in Constantinople. Andrea II soon endorsed an anti-Byzantine revolt in his domains between 1335–1341 and formed an alliance with Robert, Prince of Taranto in 1336. In 1336, Serbian king Stefan Dušan captured Durres, including the territory under the control of the Muzaka family. Although Angevins managed to recapture Durazzo, Dušan continued his expansion, and in the period of 1337—45 he had captured Kaninë, Kanina and Vlorë, Valona in southern Albania. Around 1340 forces of Andrea II defeated the Serbian army at the Pelister mountain. After the death of Stefan Dušan in 1355 the Serbian Empire disintegrated, and Karl Thopia captured Durres while the Muzaka family of Berat regained control over parts of southeastern Albania and over Kastoria. that Andrea II captured from Prince Marko after the Battle of Marica in 1371. The kingdom reinforced the influence of Catholicism and the conversion to its rite, not only in the region of Durrës but in other parts of the country. A new wave of Catholic dioceses, churches and monasteries were founded, papal missionaries and a number of different religious orders began spreading into the country. Those who were not Catholic in central and northern Albania converted and a great number of Albanian clerics and monks were present in the Dalmatian Catholic institutions. Around 1230 the two main centers of Albanian settlements were around Devoll (river), Devoll river in what is now central Albania "the Albanians dominated the central regions of what is now the Albanian republic, in the areas which are drained by the Devollit river" and the other around the region known as Arbanon.. Albanian presence in Croatia can be traced back to the beginning of the Late Middle Ages. In this period, there was a significant Albanian community in Dubrovnik, Ragusa with a number of families of Albanian origin inclusively the Sorgo family who came from the Cape of Rodon in central Albania, across Kotor in eastern Montenegro, to Dalmatia. By the 13th century, Albanian merchants were trading directly with the peoples of the Republic of Ragusa which increased familiarity between Albanians and Ragusans. The upcoming invasion of Albania by the and the death of Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg, Skanderbeg caused many Christian Albanians to flee to Dalmatia and surrounding countries. In the 14th century a number of Albanian principalities were created. These included Principality of Kastrioti, Principality of Dukagjini, Principality of Albania (medieval), Princedom of Albania, and Principality of Gjirokastër. At the beginning of the 15th century these principalities became stronger, especially because of the fall of the Serbian Empire. Some of these principalities were united in 1444 under the military alliance called League of Lezhë, League of Lezha. Albanians were recruited all over Europe as a light cavalry known as ''stratioti''. The stratioti were pioneers of light cavalry tactics during the 15th century. In the early 16th century heavy cavalry in the European armies was principally remodeled after Albanian stradioti of the Venetian army, Hungarian hussars and German mercenary cavalry units (Schwarzreitern).
Ottoman EmpirePrior to the Albania under the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman conquest of Albania, the political situation of the Albanian people was characterised by a fragmented conglomeration of scattered realm, kingdoms and Principalities of albania, principalities such as the Principality of Arbanon, Principalities of Arbanon, Principality of Kastrioti, Kastrioti and Principality of Albania (medieval), Thopia. Before and after the fall of Constantinople, the continued an extended period of conquest and expansion with its borders going deep into the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans, Southeast Europe. As a consequence thousands of Albanians from , Epirus and Peloponnese escaped to Calabria, Kingdom of Naples, Naples, Republic of Ragusa, Ragusa and Kingdom of Sicily (Medieval and Early Modern), Sicily, whereby others sought protection at the often inaccessible Geography of Albania, Mountains of Albania. Under the leadership of , a former governor of the Ottoman Sanjak of Dibra, a prosperous and longstanding revolution erupted with the formation of the League of Lezhë in 1444 up until the Siege of Shkodra, Siege of Shkodër ending in 1479, multiple times defeating the mightiest power of the time led by Sultans Murad II and Mehmed the Conqueror, Mehmed II. Skanderbeg managed to gather several of the Albanian principals, amongst them the Arianiti family, Arianitis, Dukagjini family, Dukagjinis, Zaharia family, Zaharias and Thopia family, Thopias, and establish a centralised authority over most of the non-conquered territories and proclaiming himself the Lord of Albania (''Dominus Albaniae'' in Latin). Skanderbeg consistently pursued the aim relentlessly but rather unsuccessfully to create a European coalition against the Ottomans. His unequal fight against them won the esteem of Europe and financial and military aid from the Papacy and Kingdom of Naples, Naples, Republic of Venice, Venice and Republic of Ragusa, Ragusa. The Albanians, then predominantly Christian, were initially considered as an Rayah, inferior class of people and as such were subjected to heavy Jizya, taxes such as the ''Devshirme'' system that allowed the state to collect a requisite percentage of Christian adolescents from the Balkans and elsewhere to compose the Janissary. Since the Albanians were seen as strategically important, they made up a significant proportion of the Ottoman military and bureaucracy. They were therefore to be found within the imperial services as vital military and administrative retainers from Egypt to Algeria and the rest of the Maghreb.. In the late 18th century, Ali Pasha Tepelena created the autonomous region of the Pashalik of Yanina within the which was never recognised as such by the High Porte. The territory he properly governed incorporated most of southern , Epirus, Thessaly and southwestern Macedonia (region), Macedonia. During his rule, the town of Janina blossomed into a cultural, political and economic hub for both Albanians and Greeks. The ultimate goal of Ali Pasha Tepelena seems to have been the establishment of an independent rule in Albania and Epirus. Thus, he obtained control of Arta, Greece, Arta and took control over the ports of Butrint, Preveza and Vonitsa. He also gained control of the pashaliks of Elbasan, Sanjak of Delvina, Delvina, Pashalik of Berat, Berat and Sanjak of Avlona, Vlorë. His relations with the High Porte were always tense though he developed and maintained relations with the British Empire, British, First French Empire, French and Russian Empire, Russians and formed alliances with them at various times. In the 19th century, the Albanian wālī Muhammad Ali of Egypt, Muhammad Ali established a Muhammad Ali dynasty, dynasty that ruled over Egypt under Muhammad Ali and his successors, Egypt and History of Sudan under Muhammad Ali and his successors, Sudan until the middle of the 20th century. After a brief French invasion of Egypt, French invasion led by Napoleon Bonaparte and the Ottomans and Mameluks competing for power there, he managed collectively with his Albanian troops to become the Ottoman viceroy in Egypt. As he revolutionised the military and economic spheres of Egypt, his empire attracted Albanian people contributing to the emergence of the Albanians in Egypt, Albanian diaspora in Egypt initially formed by Albanian soldiers and mercenaries.
Islamisationarrived in the lands of the Albanian people gradually and grew widespread between at least the 17th and 18th centuries. The new religion brought many transformations into Albanian society and henceforth offered them equal opportunities and advancement within the . With the advent of increasing suppression on Catholicism, the Ottomans initially focused their conversions on the Catholic Albanians of the north in the 17th century and followed suit in the 18th century on the Orthodox Albanians of the south. At this point, the urban centers of Central Albania, central and southern Albania had largely adopted the religion of the growing Muslim Albanian elite. Many mosques and Khanqah, tekkes were constructed throughout those urban centers and cities such as Berat, Gjirokastër, Korçë and Shkodër started to flourish. In the far Northern Albania, north, the spread of Islam was slower due to Catholic Albanian resistance and the inaccessible and rather remote mountainous terrain. The motives for Religious conversion, conversion to Islam are subject to differing interpretations according to scholars depending on the context though the lack of sources does not help when investigating such issues. Reasons included the incentive to escape high Taxation in the Ottoman Empire, taxes levied on non-Muslims subjects, ecclesiastical decay, coercion by Ottoman authorities in times of war, and the privileged legal and social position Muslims within the Ottoman administrative and political machinery had over that of non-Muslims....... As Muslims, the Albanians attained powerful positions in the Ottoman administration including over three dozen List of Ottoman Grand Viziers, Grand Viziers of Albanian origin, among them Zagan Pasha, Bayezid Pasha and members of the Köprülü family, and regional rulers such as Muhammad Ali of Egypt and Ali Pasha of Tepelena. The Ottoman sultans Bayezid II and Mehmed III were both Albanian on their List of mothers of the Ottoman sultans, maternal side. Areas such as Albania, western Macedonia, southern Serbia, Kosovo, parts of northern Greece and southern Montenegro in Ottoman sources were referred to as ''Arnavudluk'' or Albania.. "This Albanian participation in brigandage is easier to track than for many other social groups in Ottoman lands, because Albanian (''Arnavud'') was one of the relatively few ethnic markers regularly added to the usual religious (Muslim-Zimmi) tags used to identify people in state records. These records show that the magnitude of banditry involving Albanians grew through the 1770s and 1780s to reach crisis proportions in the 1790s and 1800s."; p.107. "In light of the recent violent troubles in Kosovo and Macedonia and the strong emotions tied to them, readers are urged most emphatically not to draw either of two unwarranted conclusions from this article: that Albanians are somehow inherently inclined to banditry, or that the extent of Ottoman "Albania" or ''Arnavudluk'' (which included parts of present-day northern Greece, western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, Kosovo, and southern Serbia) gives any historical "justification" for the creation of a "Greater Albania" today.". "In this case, however, Ottoman records contain useful information about the ethnicities of the leading actors in the story. Records of Ottoman Empire refer to 'Albanians' more frequently than most other cultural or linguistic groups. The term 'Arnavud' was used to denote persons who spoke one of the dialects of Albanian, came from mountainous country in the western Balkans (referred to as 'Arnavudluk', and including not only the area now forming the state of Albania but also neighbouring parts of Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro), organized society on the strength of blood ties (family, clan, tribe), engaged predominantly in a mix of settled agriculture and livestock herding, and were notable fighters – a group, in short, difficult to control. Other peoples, such as Georgians, Ahkhaz, Circassians, Tatars, Kurds, and Bedouin Arabs who were frequently identified by their ethnicity, shared similar cultural traits.". "Anscombe (ibid., 107 n. 3) notes that Ottoman "Albania" or ''Arnavudluk''... included parts of present-day northern Greece, western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, Kosovo, and southern Serbia"; see also ''El2''. s.v. "Arnawutluk. 6. History" (H. İnalcık) and Arsh, ''He Alvania''. 31.33, 39–40. For the Byzantine period. see Psimouli, ''Souli''. 28."
Albanian RenaissanceThe characterised a period wherein the Albanian people gathered both Spirituality, spiritual and intellectual strength to establish their rights for an independent political and social life, culture and education. By the late 18th century and the early 19th century, its foundation arose within the Albanian diaspora, Albanian communities in Albanians in Italy, Italy and Albanians in Romania, Romania and was frequently linked to the influences of the Romanticism and Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment principles. Albania was under the rule of the for almost five centuries and the Ottoman authorities suppressed any expression of unity or national conscience by the Albanian people. A number of thoroughly intellectual Albanians, among them Naum Veqilharxhi, Girolamo de Rada, Dora d'Istria, Thimi Mitko, Naim Frashëri, Naim and Sami Frashëri, made a conscious effort to awaken feelings of pride and unity among their people by working to develop Albanian literature that would call to mind the rich history and hopes for a more decent future.. The Albanians had poor or often no schools or other institutions in place to protect and preserve their cultural heritage. The need for schools was preached initially by the increasing number of Albanians educated abroad. The Albanian communities in Italy and elsewhere were particularly active in promoting the Albanian cause, especially in education which finally resulted with the foundation of the Mësonjëtorja in Korçë, the first secular school in the . The Rise of nationalism in the Ottoman Empire, Turkish yoke had become fixed in the nationalist mythologies and psyches of the people in the Balkans, and their march toward independence quickened. Due to the more substantial of Islamic influence, the Albanians internal social divisions, and the fear that they would lose their Albanian territories to the emerging neighbouring states, , , Bulgaria and , were among the last peoples in the Balkans to desire division from the Ottoman Empire. The national awakening as a coherent political movement emerged after the Treaty of San Stefano, according to which Albanian-inhabited territories were to be ceded to the neighbouring states, and focused on preventing that partition.Karl Kaser, Frank Kressing
Communism in Albaniaof the Communist Party of Labour of Albania, Party of Labour took power in in 1946. Albania established an alliance with the Eastern Bloc which provided Albania with many advantages in the form of economic assistance and military protection from the Western Bloc during the Cold War. The Albanians experienced a period of several beneficial political and economic changes. The People's Republic of Albania, government defended the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Albania, diversified the economy through a programme of industrialisation which led to a higher standard of living and followed improvements in areas such as health, education and infrastructure. It subsequently followed a period wherein the Albanians lived within an extreme isolation from the rest of the world for the next four decades. By 1967, the established government had officially proclaimed Albania to be the first atheistic state in the world as they beforehand confiscated Christian Church, churches, monasteries and mosques, and any religious expression instantly became grounds for imprisonment. Protests coinciding with the emerging revolutions of 1989 began to break out in various cities throughout Albania including Shkodër and Tirana which eventually lead to the Fall of communism in Albania, fall of communism. Significant internal and external migration waves of Albanians to such countries as and Italy followed. The bunkerisation is arguably the most visible and memorable legacy of the communism in Albania. Nearly 175.000 reinforced concrete bunkers were built on strategic locations across Geography of Albania, Albania's territory including near borders, within towns, on the seashores or mountains. These bunkers were never used for their intended purpose or for sheltered the population from attacks or an invasion by a neighbor. However, they were abandoned after the breakup of communism and have been sometimes reused for a variety of purposes.
Independence of Kosovodeclared Independence of Kosovo, independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008, after years of strained relations between the Serb and predominantly Albanians in Kosovo, Albanian population of Kosovo. It has been officially recognised by Australia, Canada, the United States and major European Union countries, while Serbia and its ally Russia refuse to recognise Kosovo's sovereignty. The overwhelming majority of Kosovo's population is ethnically Albanian with nearly 1.7 million people. Their presence as well as in the adjacent regions of Toplica District, Toplica and Moravac, Morava is recorded since the ., 785–788. "While the ethnic roots of some settlements can be determined from the Ottoman records, Serbian and Albanian historians have at times read too much into them in their running dispute over the ethnic history of early Ottoman Kosovo. Their attempts to use early Ottoman provincial surveys (tahrir defterleri) to gauge the ethnic make—up of the population in the fifteenth century have proved little. Leaving aside questions arising from the dialects and pronunciation of the census scribes, interpreters, and even priests who baptized those recorded, no natural law binds ethnicity to name. Imitation, in which the customs, tastes, and even names of those in the public eye are copied by the less exalted, is a time—tested tradition and one followed in the Ottoman Empire. Some Christian sipahis in early Ottoman Albania took such Turkic names as Timurtaş, for example, in a kind of cultural conformity completed later by conversion to Islam. Such cultural mimicry makes onomastics an inappropriate tool for anyone wishing to use Ottoman records to prove claims so modern as to have been irrelevant to the pre—modern state. The seventeenth—century Ottoman notable arid author Evliya Çelebi, who wrote a massive account of his travels around the empire and abroad, included in it details of local society that normally would not appear in official correspondence; for this reason his account of a visit to several towns in Kosovo in 1660 is extremely valuable. Evliya confirms that western and at least parts of central Kosovo were 'Arnavud'. He notes that the town of Vučitrn had few speakers of 'Boşnakca'; its inhabitants spoke Albanian or Turkish. He terms the highlands around Tetovo (in Macedonia), Peć, and Prizren the 'mountains of Arnavudluk'. Elsewhere, he states that 'the mountains of Peć' lay in Arnavudluk, from which issued one of the rivers converging at Mitrovica, just north-west of which he sites Kosovo's border with Bosna. This river, the Ibar, flows from a source in the mountains of Montenegro north—north—west of Peć, in the region of Rozaje to which the Këlmendi would later be moved. He names the other river running by Mitrovica as the Kılab and says that it, too, had its source in Aravudluk; by this he apparently meant the Lab, which today is the name of the river descending from mountains north—east of Mitrovica to join the Sitnica north of Priština. As Evliya travelled south, he appears to have named the entire stretch of river he was following the Kılab, not noting the change of name when he took the right fork at the confluence of the Lab and Sitnica. Thus, Evliya states that the tomb of Murad I, killed in the battle of Kosovo Polje, stood beside the Kılab, although it stands near the Sitnica outside Priština. Despite the confusion of names, Evliya included in Arnavudluk not only the western fringe of Kosovo, but also the central mountains from which the Sitnica ('Kılab') and its first tributaries descend. Given that a large Albanian population lived in Kosovo, especially in the west and centre, both before and after the Habsburg invasion of 1689–90, it remains possible, in theory, that at that time in the Ottoman Empire, one people emigrated en masse and another immigrated to take its place. As the Serbs expelled many Albanians from the wider Toplica and Morava regions in Southern Serbia, which the 1878 Congress of Berlin had given to the Principality of Serbia, many of them settled in Kosovo.. para. 1–71.. "So here next, after their expulsion 1877–1878 will be noted with only some patronymic (surnames) of the Albanians of Toplica and other Albanian areas of Sanjak of Nis. This means that the Albanians expelled after moving, attained the appellation muhaxhirë (refugees), which instead for the family surname to take the name of his grandfather, clan, or any other, they for their family surname take the name of the village of the Sanjak of Nis from where they were expelled from." ; pp. 53–54. After being an integral section of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Kosovo including its Albanian population went through a period of discrimination, economic and political persecution. Rights to use the were guaranteed by the constitution of the later formed Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Socialist Yugoslavia and was widely used in Macedonia and Montenegro prior to the dissolution of Yugoslavia. In 1989, Kosovo lost its status as a federal entity of Yugoslavia with rights similar to those of the six other republics and eventually became part of Serbia and Montenegro. In 1998, tensions between the Albanians in Kosovo, Albanian and Serbs in kosovo, Serb population of Kosovo simmered and erupted into major violence and discrimination culminating into the humanitarian tragedy of the Kosovo War. The conflict led to the displacement of hundred thousands of Albanians to the neighboring countries and Europe. Serbian paramilitary forces committed war crimes in Kosovo, although the government of Serbia claims that the army was only going after suspected Albanian terrorists. The NATO launched a NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, 78-day air campaign in 1999 to halt the humanitarian catastrophe that was then unfolding in Kosovo and finally concluded the ended the war.
BalkansApproximately 5 million Albanians are geographically distributed across the with about half this number living in , , and as well as to a more lesser extent in and . There are also significant Albanian populations in . Approximately 1.8 million Albanians are concentrated in the partially recognised Republic of Kosovo. They are geographically distributed south of the Municipalities of Kosovo, municipality of North Mitrovica and constitute the overall majority ethnic group of the territory. In , the Albanian population is currently estimated to be around 30,000 forming one of the constituent ethnic minority groups of the country. They predominantly live in the List of regions of Montenegro#Coastal Region, coastal region of Montenegro around the municipalities of Ulcinj Municipality, Ulcinj and Bar Municipality, Bar but also Tuz and around Plav Municipality, Plav in the List of regions of Montenegro#Northern Region, northern region as well as in the capital city of Podgorica in the List of regions of Montenegro#Central Region, central region. In , there are more than approximately 500,000 Albanians constituting the largest ethnic minority group in the country. The vast majority of the Albanians are chiefly concentrated around the Municipalities of the Republic of Macedonia, municipalities of Tetovo Municipality, Tetovo and Gostivar Municipality, Gostivar in the Polog Statistical Region, northwestern region, Struga Municipality, Struga and Debar Municipality, Debar in the Southwestern Statistical Region, southwestern region as well as around the capital of Skopje in the Skopje Statistical Region, central region. In , the number of Albanians stands at approximately 17.500 mostly concentrated in the Counties of Croatia, counties of Istria County, Istria, Split-Dalmatia County, Split-Dalmatia and most notably in the capital city of Zagreb. The Arbanasi people who historically migrated to Bulgaria, Croatia and Ukraine live in scattered communities across Bulgaria, Croatia and Southern Ukraine. In , the Albanians are an officially recognised ethnic minority group with a population of around 70,000. They are significantly concentrated in the Municipalities and cities of Serbia, municipalities of Bujanovac and Preševo in the Pčinja District. In , the number of Albanians is unofficially estimated from 500 to 10,000 mainly distributed in Bucharest. They are recognised as an ethnic minority group and are respectively represented in Parliament of Romania.
ItalyThe Italian Peninsula across the Adriatic Sea has attracted Albanian people for more than half a millennium often due to its immediate proximity. Albanians in Italy later became important in establishing the fundamentals of the and maintaining the Albanian culture. The Arbëreshë people came sporadically in several small and large cycles initially as ''Stratioti'' mercenaries in service of the kingdoms of Kingdom of Naples, Naples and Kingdom of Sicily (Medieval and Early Modern), Sicily and the Republic of Venice. Larger migration waves occurred after the death of Skanderbeg and the capture of Siege of Krujë (1478), Krujë and Siege of Shkodra, Shkodër by the Ottoman Empire, Ottomans to escape the forthcoming political and religious changes. Today, Albanians in Italy constitute one of the largest Ethnolinguistic group, ethnolinguistic minority groups and their status is protected by law. The total number of Arbëreshës is approximately 260,000 scattered across , Calabria and Apulia.. There are Italian Albanians in the Americas especially in such countries as Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Canada and the United States. Centuries later, at the end of the 20th century occurred another and the largest migration cycle of Albanians to Italy surpassing the earlier migration of the Arbëreshë. Their migration stemmed from decades of severe social and political oppression and isolation from the outside world under the Communism in Albania, communist regime led by . Between 2015 and 2016, the number of Albanians regularly residing in Italy was numbered to be around 480,000 and 500,000. Tuscany, Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna represent the Regions of Italy, regions with the strongest presence of the modern Albanian population in Italy. In 2012, 41.5% of the Albanian population were counted as Muslim, 38.9% as Christians, Christian including 27.7% as Roman Catholic and 11% as Eastern Orthodox and 17.8% as Irreligion, Irreligious.
GreeceThe and Albanian-speakers of Western Thrace are a group descended from Tosks who migrated to southern and central Greece between the 13th and 16th centuries.. "Arvanites originate from Albanian settlers who moved south at different times between the 14th and the 16th centuries from areas in what is today southern Albania The reasons for this migration are not entirely clear and may be manifold. In many instances the Arvanites were invited by the Byzantine and Latin rulers of the time. They were employed to resettle areas that had been largely depopulated through wars, epidemics and other reasons, and they were employed as soldiers. Some later movements are also believed to have been motivated to evade Islamisation after the Ottoman conquest. The main waves of the Arvanite migration into southern Greece started around 1300, reached a peak some time during the 14th century, and ended around 1600. Arvanites first reached Thessaly, then Attica and finally the Peloponnese (Clogg. 2002). Regarding the number of Arvanites in Greece, the 1951 census (the last census in Greece that included a question about language) gives a figure of 23.000 Arvaiithka speakers. Sociohinguistic research in the 1970s in the villages of Attica and Biotia alone indicated a figure of at least 30.000 speakers (Trudgill and Tzavaras 1977), while Lunden (1993) suggests 50.000 for Greece as a whole." They are Greek Orthodox Christians, and though they traditionally speak a dialect of Tosk Albanian known as , they have fully assimilated into the Greek nation and do not identify as Albanians.. "The permeability of ethnic boundaries is also demonstrated in many of the Greek villages of Attiki and Viotia (ancient Attika and Boiotia), where Arvanites often form a majority) These Arvanites are descended from Albanians who first entered Greece between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries (though there was a subsequent wave of immigration in the second half of the eighteenth century). Although still regarded as ethnically distinct in the nineteenth century, their participation in the Greek War of Independence and the Civil War has led to increasing assimilation: in a survey conducted in the 1970s, 97 per crnt of Arvanite informants despite regularly speaking in Arvanitika, considered themselves to be Greek. A similar concern with being identified as Greek is exhibited by the bilingual Arvanites of the Eastern Argolid.". "First, we can explain the astonishing persistence of Albanian village culture from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries through the ethnic and religious tolerance characteristic of Islamic empires and so lacking in their Christian equivalents. Ottoman control rested upon allowing local communities to keep their religion, language, local laws, and representatives, provided that taxes were paid (the millet system). There was no pressure for Greeks and Albanians to conform to each other's language or other behavior. Clear signs of change are revealed in the travel diaries of the German scholar Ludwig Ross (1851), when he accompanied the Bavarian Otto, whom the Allies had foisted as king upon the newly freed Greek nation in the aftermath of the War of Independence in the 1830s. Ross praises the well-built Greek villages of central Greece with their healthy, happy, dancing inhabitants, and contrasts them specifically with the hovels and sickly inhabitants of Albanian villages. In fact, recent scholarship has underlined how far it was the West that built modem Greece in its own fanciful image as the land of a long-oppressed people who were the direct descendants of Pericles. Thus from the late nineteenth century onward the children of the inhabitants of the new "nation-state" were taught in Greek, history confined itself to the episodes of pure Greekness, and the tolerant Ottoman attitude to cultural diversity yielded to a deliberate policy of total Hellenization of the populace—effective enough to fool the casual observer. One is rather amazed at the persistence today of such dual-speaking populations in much of the Albanian colonization zone. However, apart from the provinciality of this essentially agricultural province, a high rate of illiteracy until well into this century has also helped to preserve Arvanitika in the Boeotian villagers (Meijs 1993)."; p. 140. "In contrast therefore to the more openly problematic issue of Slav speakers in northern Greece, Arvanitic speakers in central Greece lack any signs of an assertive ethnicity. I would like to suggest that they possess what we might term a ''passive ethnicity''. As a result of a number of historical factors, much of the rural population in central Greece was Albanian-speaking by the time of the creation of the modern Greek state in the 1830s. Until this century, most of these people were illiterate and unschooled, yet there existed sufficient knowledge of Greek to communicate with officials and townspeople, itinerant traders, and so on, to limit the need to transform rural language usage. Life was extremely provincial, with just one major carriage-road passing through the center of the large province of Boeotia even in the 1930s (beyond which horseback and cart took over; van Effenterre 1989). Even in the 1960s, Arvanitic village children could be figures of fun for their Greek peers in the schools of Thebes (One of the two regional towns) (K. Sarri, personal communication, 2000). It was not a matter of cultural resistance but simple conservatism and provinciality, the extreme narrowness of rural life, that allowed Arvanitic language and local historic memories to survive so effectively to the very recent period.". "For the time being, the Greeks of free Greece could indulge in defining their brethren of unredeemed Greece, primarily the Slav Macedonians and secondarily the Orthodox Albanians and the Vlachs. Primary school students were taught, in the 1880s, that 'Greeks [are] our kinsmen, of common descent, speaking the language we speak and professing the religion we profess'." But this definition, it seems, was reserved for small children who could not possibly understand the intricate arguments of their parents on the question of Greek identity. What was essential to understand at that tender age was that modern Greeks descended from the ancient Greeks. Grown up children, however, must have been no less confused than adults on the criteria for defining modern Greek identity. Did the Greeks constitute a 'race' apart from the Albanians, the Slavs and the Vlachs? Yes and no. High school students were told that the 'other races', i.e. the Slavs, the Albanians and the Vlachs, 'having been Hellenized with the years in terms of mores and customs, are now being assimilated into the Greeks'. On the Slavs of Macedonia there seems to have been no consensus. Were they Bulgars, Slavicized Greeks or early Slavs? They 'were' Bulgars until the 1870s and Slavicized Greeks, or Hellenized Slavs subsequently, according to the needs of the dominant theory. There was no consensus, either, on the Vlachs. Were they Latinized Greek mountaineers of late immigrants from Vlachia? As in the case of the Slavs of Macedonia, Vlach descent shifted from the southern Balkans to the Danube, until the Romanians claimed the Vlachs for their brethren; which made the latter irrevocably indigenous to the southern Balkan mountains. The Albanians or 'Arvanites', were readily 'adopted' as brethren of common descent for at least three reasons. Firstly, the Albanians had been living in southern Greece, as far south as the Peloponnese, in considerable numbers. Secondly, Christian Albanians had fought with distinction and in considerable numbers in the War of Independence. Thirdly, credible Albanian claims for the establishment of an Albanian nation state materialized too Late for Greek national theorists to abandon well-entrenched positions. Commenting on a geography textbook for primary schools in 1901, a state committee found it inadequate and misleading. One of its principal shortcomings concerned the Albanians, who were described as 'close kinsmen of the Greeks'. 'These are unacceptable from the point of view of our national claims and as far as historical truth is concerned', commented the committee. 'it must have been maintained that they are of common descent with the Greeks (Pelasgians), that they speak a language akin to that of the Greeks and that they participated in all struggles for national liberation of the common fatherland.'" Arvanitika is in a state of attrition due to language shift towards Greek and large-scale internal migration to the cities and subsequent intermingling of the population during the 20th century. The Cham Albanians were a group that formerly inhabited a region of Epirus (region), Epirus known as Chameria, nowadays Thesprotia in northwestern Greece. Many Cham Albanians converted to Islam during the Ottoman era. Muslim Chams were Expulsion of Cham Albanians, expelled from Greece during World War II, by an EDES, anti-communist resistance group (EDES), as a result of some participating in a EAM-ELAS, communist resistance group (EAM-ELAS) and others Axis-Cham Albanian collaboration, collaborating with the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II, Axis occupation. Orthodox Chams have largely assimilated into the Greek nation. As of 2005 estimates, around 600,000 Albanian nationals live in Greece, forming the largest immigrant community in the country. They are economic migrants whose migration began in 1991, following the collapse of the Socialist People's Republic of Albania. Albanians in Greece have a long history of Hellenisation, assimilation and integration. Many ethnic Albanians have been naturalised as Greek nationals, others have self-declared as Greek since arrival and a considerable number live and work across both countries seasonally hence the number of Albanians in the country has often fluctuated.
EuropeDuring the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries, the Yugoslav Wars, conflicts in the Balkans and the Kosovo War set in motion large population movements of Albanians to Central Europe, Central, Western Europe, Western and Northern Europe. The gradual Fall of communism in Albania, collapse of communism in Albania triggered as well a new wave of migration and contributed to the emergence of a new diaspora, mainly in Southern Europe, in such countries as and Italy. In Central Europe, there are approximately 200,000 Albanians in Switzerland with the particular concentration in the Cantons of Switzerland, cantons of Canton of Zürich, Zürich, Canton of Basel-Stadt, Basel, Canton of Lucerne, Lucerne, Canton of Bern, Bern and Canton of St. Gallen, St. Gallen. The neighbouring Germany is home to around 250,000 to 300,000 Albanians while in Austria there are around 40,000 to 80,000 Albanians concentrated in the States of Austria, states of Vienna, Styria, State of Salzburg, Salzburg, Lower Austria, Lower and Upper Austria. In Western Europe#CIA classification, Western Europe, the Albanian population of approximately 10,000 people living in the Benelux countries is in comparison to other regions relatively limited. There are more than 6,000 Albanian people living in Belgium and 2,800 in the nearby Netherlands. The most lesser number of Albanian people in the Benelux region is to be found in Luxembourg with a population of 2,100. Within Northern Europe, Sweden possesses the most sizeable population of Albanians in Scandinavia however there is no exact answer to their number in the country. The populations also tend to be lower in Norway, Finland and Denmark with more than 18,000, 10,000 and 8,000 Albanians respectively. The population of Albanians in the United Kingdom is officially estimated to be around 39.000 whiles in Ireland there are less than 2,500 Albanians.
Asia and AfricaThe Albanian diaspora in Africa and Asia, in such countries as Egypt, Syria or , was predominantly formed during the Ottoman period through economic Human migration, migration and early years of the Republic of Turkey through migration due to sociopolitical discrimination and violence experienced by Albanians in Balkans.. "Taking a chronological perspective, the ethnic Albanians currently living in Turkey today could be categorized into three groups: Ottoman Albanians, Balkan Albanians, and twentieth century Albanians. The first category comprises descendants of Albanians who relocated to the Marmara and Aegean regions as part of the Ottoman Empire's administrative structure. Official Ottoman documents record the existence of Albanians living in and around Istanbul (Constantinople), Iznik (Nicaea), and Izmir (Smyrna). For example, between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries Albanian boys were brought to Istanbul and housed in Topkapı Palace as part of the ''devşirme'' system (an early Ottoman practice of human tribute required of Christian citizens) to serve as civil servants and Janissaries. In the 1600s Albanian seasonal workers were employed by these Albanian Janissaries in and around Istanbul and Iznik, and in 1860 Kayserili Ahmet, the governor of Izmir, employed Albanians to fight the raiding Zeybeks. Today, the descendants of Ottoman Albanians do not form a community per se, but at least some still identify as ethnically Albanian. However, it is unknown how many, if any, of these Ottoman Albanians retain Albanian language skills. The second category of ethnic Albanians living in modern Turkey is composed of people who are the descendants of refugees from the Balkans who because of war were forced to migrate inwards towards Eastern Thrace and Anatolia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the Ottoman Empire dissolved. These Balkan Albanians are the largest group of ethnic Albanians living in Turkey today, and can be subcategorized into those who ended up in actual Albanian-speaking communities and those who were relocated into villages where they were the only Albanian-speaking migrants. Not surprisingly, the language is retained by some of the descendants from those of the former, but not those of the latter. The third category of ethnic Albanians in Turkey comprises recent or twentieth century migrants from the Balkans. These recent migrants can be subcategorized into those who came from Kosovo in the 1950s–1970s, those who came from Kosovo in 1999, and those who came from the Republic of Albania after 1992. All of these in the third category know a variety of modern Albanian and are mostly located in the western parts of Turkey in large metropolitan areas. Our research focuses on the history of migration and community formation of the Albanians located in the Samsun Province in the Black Sea region around 1912–1913 who would fall into the second category discussed above (see Figure 1). Turkish census data between 1927 and 1965 recorded the presence of Albanian speakers in Samsun Province, and the fieldwork we have been conducting in Samsun since September 2005 has revealed that there is still a significant number of Albanians living in the city and its surrounding region. According to the community leaders we interviewed, there are about 30,000–40,000 ethnic Albanian Turkish citizens in Samsun Province. The community was largely rural, located in the villages and engaged in agricultural activities until the 1970s. After this time, gradual migration to urban areas, particularly smaller towns and nearby cities has been observed. Long-distance rural-to-urban migration also began in later years mostly due to increasing demand for education and better jobs. Those who migrated to areas outside of Samsun Province generally preferred the cities located in the west of Turkey, particularly metropolitan areas such as Istanbul, Izmir and Bursa mainly because of the job opportunities as well as the large Albanian communities already residing in these cities. Today, the size of the Albanian community in Samsun Province is considered to be much smaller and gradually shrinking because of outward migration. Our observation is that the Albanians in Samsun seem to be fully integrated into Turkish society, and engaged in agriculture and small trading businesses. As education becomes accessible to the wider society and modernization accelerates transportation and hence communication of urban values, younger generations have also started to acquire professional occupations. Whilst a significant number of people still speak Albanian fluently as the language in the family, they have a perfect command of the Turkish language and cannot be distinguished from the rest of the population in terms of occupation, education, dress and traditions. In this article, we are interested in the history of this Albanian community in Samsun. Given the lack of any research on the Albanian presence in Turkey, our questions are simple and exploratory. When and where did these people come from? How and why did they choose Samsun as a site of resettlement? How did the socio- cultural characteristics of this community change over time? It is generally believed that the Albanians in Samsun Province are the descendants of the migrants and refugees from Kosovo who arrived in Turkey during the wars of 1912–13. Based on our research in Samsun Province, we argue that this information is partial and misleading. The interviews we conducted with the Albanian families and community leaders in the region and the review of Ottoman history show that part of the Albanian community in Samsun was founded through three stages of successive migrations. The first migration involved the forced removal of Muslim Albanians from the Sancak of Nish in 1878; the second migration occurred when these migrants' children fled from the massacres in Kosovo in 1912–13 to Anatolia; and the third migration took place between 1913 and 1924 from the scattered villages in Central Anatolia where they were originally placed to the Samsun area in the Black Sea Region. Thus, the Albanian community founded in the 1920s in Samsun was in many ways a reassembling of the demolished Muslim Albanian community of Nish. This trajectory of the Albanian community of Nish shows that the fate of this community was intimately bound up with the fate of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans and the socio-cultural composition of modern Turkey still carries on the legacy of its historical ancestor." In , the exact numbers of the Albanian population of the country are difficult to correctly estimate. According to a 2008 report, there were approximately 1.300,000 people of Albanian descent living in Turkey. As of that report, more than 500,000 Albanian descendants still recognise their ancestry and or their language, culture and traditions.Albanians in Turkey celebrate their cultural heritage
Americas and OceaniaThe first Albanian migration to North America began in the 19th and 20th centuries not long after gaining Declaration of independence of Albania, independence from the . However the Arbëreshë people from were the first Albanian people to arrive in the , many of them migrating after the wars that accompanied the Risorgimento. Since then several Albanian migration waves have occurred throughout the 20th century as for instance after the with Albanians mostly from rather than from Communist Albania, then after the Fall of communism in Albania, Breakup of Communist Albania in 1990 and finally following the Kosovo War in 1998."Albanians"
Culinary artsThe traditional Albanian cuisine, cuisine of the Albanians is diverse and has been greatly influenced by traditions and their varied Biophysical environment, environment in the Balkans and turbulent history throughout the course of the centuries.. There is a considerable diversity between the Mediterranean cuisine, Mediterranean and Balkan cuisine, Balkan-influenced cuisines of Albanians in the Western Balkan nations and the Italian cuisine, Italian and Greek cuisine, Greek-influenced cuisines of the Arbëreshë people#Cuisine, Arbëreshës and Cham Albanians#Cuisine, Chams. The enjoyment of food has a high priority in the lives of Albanian peoples especially when celebrating religious festivals such as Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, Eid, Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah or Novruz Ingredients include many varieties of fruits such as Lemon (fruit), lemons, oranges, Figs (fruit), figs and Olive (fruit), olives, herbs such as Basil (herb), basil, lavender, Spearmint, mint, oregano, rosemary and thyme and vegetables such as garlic, onion, Bell pepper, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes. Albanian peoples who live closer to the Mediterranean Sea, Prespa Lake and Ohrid Lake are able to complement their diet with fish, shellfish and other seafood. Otherwise, Lamb (food), lamb is often considered the traditional meat for different religious festivals. Poultry, beef and pork are also in plentiful supply. Tavë Kosi is a national dish in Albania consisting of garlic lamb and rice baked under a thick, tart veil of yogurt. Fërgesë is another national dish and is made with peppers, tomatoes and cottage cheese. Pite is a baked pastry with a filling of a mixture of spinach and curd, gjizë or Ground meat, mish. Desserts include Flia, consisting of multiple crepe-like layers brushed with crea; petulla, a traditionally fried dough, and Krofne, similar to Berliner (doughnut), Berliner.
PaintingThe earliest preserved relics of visual arts of the Albanian people are Sacred art, sacred in nature and represented by numerous frescoes, murals and icons which has been created with an admirable use of color and gold. They reveal a wealth of various influences and traditions that converged in the historical lands of the Albanian people throughout the course of the centuries. The rise of the Byzantine Empire, Byzantines and Ottoman Empire, Ottomans during the was accompanied by a corresponding growth in Christian art, Christian and Islamic art often apparent in examples of architecture and mosaics throughout Albania. The proved crucial to the emancipation of the modern Albanian culture and saw unprecedented developments in all fields of literature and arts whereas artists sought to return to the ideals of Impressionism and Romanticism (art), Romanticism. Onufri, founder of the Berat School, Kolë Idromeno, David Selenica, Kostandin Shpataraku and the Zografi Brothers are the most eminent representatives of Albanian art. Albanians in Italy and Croatia have been also active among others the Renaissance influenced artists such as Marco Basaiti, Vittore Carpaccio, Viktor Karpaçi and Andrea Nikollë Aleksi. In Greece, Eleni Boukouras is noted as being the first great female painter of post Greek War of Independence, independence Greece. In 1856, Pjetër Marubi arrived in Shkodër and established the first photography museum in Albania and probably the entire Balkans, the National Museum of Photography "Marubi", Marubi Museum. The collection of 150,000 photographs, captured by the Albanian-Italian Marubi dynasty, offers an ensemble of photographs depicting social rituals, traditional costumes, portraits of Albanian history. The Kulla, a traditional Albanian Tower house, dwelling constructed completely from natural materials, is a cultural relic from the medieval period particularly widespread in the southwestern region of and northern region of . The rectangular shape of a Kulla is produced with irregular stone ashlars, river pebbles and chestnut woods, however, the size and number of floors depends on the size of the family and their financial resources.
LiteratureThe roots of Albanian literature, literature of the Albanian people can be traced to the with surviving works about history, theology and philosophy dating from the Renaissance. The earliest known use of written Albanian is a Formula e pagëzimit, baptismal formula (1462) written by the Archbishop of Durrës Paulus Angelus.. In 1555, a Catholic clergyman Gjon Buzuku from the Shestan region published the earliest known book written in Albanian titled ''Meshari'' (The Missal) regarding Catholic prayers and rites containing archaic medieval language, lexemes and expressions obsolete in contemporary Albanian.. Other Christian clergy such as Luca Matranga in the Arbëresh diaspora published (1592) in the Tosk dialect while other notable authors were from northern Albanian lands and included Pjetër Budi, Frang Bardhi, and Pjetër Bogdani.. In the 17th century and onwards, important contributions were made by the Arbëreshë people of who played an influential role in encouraging the . Notable among them was figures such as Demetrio Camarda, Gabriele Dara, Girolamo de Rada, Giulio Variboba and Giuseppe Serembe who produced inspiring nationalist literature and worked to systematise the .. The Bejtexhinj in the 18th century emerged as the result of the influences of and particularly Bektashi Order, Sufism orders moving towards Orientalism. Individuals such as Nezim Frakulla, Hasan Zyko Kamberi, Shahin Frashëri, Shahin and Dalip Frashëri compiled literature infused with expressions, language and themes on the circumstances of the time, the insecurities of the future and their discontent at the conditions of the feudal system.. The Albanian Renaissance in the 19th century is remarkable both for its valuable poetic achievement and for its variety within the Albanian literature. It drew on the ideas of Romanticism and Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment characterised by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as the interaction between nature and mankind. Dora d'Istria, Girolamo de Rada, Naim Frashëri, Naum Veqilharxhi, Sami Frashëri and Pashko Vasa maintained this movement and are remembered today for composing series of prominent works. The 20th century was centred on the principles of Modernism and Realist literature, Realism and characterised by the development to a more distinctive and expressive form of Albanian literature. Pioneers of the time include Asdreni, Faik Konica, Fan Noli, Lasgush Poradeci, Migjeni who chose to portray themes of contemporary life and most notably Gjergj Fishta who created the epic masterpiece Lahuta e Malcís.. After World War II, Albania emerged as a communist state and Socialist realism became part of the literary scene. Authors and poets emerged such as Sejfulla Malëshova, Dritero Agolli and Ismail Kadare who has become an internationally acclaimed novelist and others who challenged the regime through various sociopolitical and historic themes in their works.. Martin Camaj wrote in the diaspora while in neighbouring Yugoslavia, the emergence of Albanian cultural expression resulted in sociopolitical and poetic literature by notable authors like Adem Demaçi, Rexhep Qosja, Jusuf Buxhovi.. The literary scene of the 21st century remains vibrant producing new novelists, authors, poets and other writers..
ApparelThe Albanian people have incorporated various natural materials from their local agriculture and livestock as a source of attire, clothing and fabrics. Their Albanian national clothing, traditional apparel was primarily influenced by nature, the Lifestyle (sociology), lifestyle and has continuously changed since ancient times. Different regions possesses their own exceptional clothing traditions and peculiarities varied occasionally in colour, material and shape. The traditional costume of Albanian men includes a white Skirt (garment), skirt called Fustanella, a white shirt with wide sleeves, and a thin black jacket or vest such as the Xhamadan or Xhurdia. In winter, they add a warm woolen or fur coat known as Flokata or Dollama made from sheepskin or goat fur. Another authentic piece is called Tirq which is a tight pair of felt trousers mostly white, sometimes dark brown or black. The Albanian women's costumes are much more elaborate, colorful and richer in ornamentation. In all the Albanian regions the women's clothing often has been decorated with filigree ironwork, colorful embroidery, a lot of symbols and vivid accessories. A unique and ancient dress is called Xhubleta, a bell shaped skirt reaching down to the calves and worn from the shoulders with two shoulder straps at the upper part. Different traditional handmade shoes and socks were worn by the Albanian people. Opinga, leather shoes made from rough animal skin, were worn with Çorape, knitted woolen or cotton socks. Headdresses remain a contrasting and recognisable feature of Albanian traditional clothing. Albanian men wore hats of various designs, shape and size. A common headgear is a Qeleshe, Plis and Qylafë, in contrast, Albanian women wore a Kapica adorned with jewels or embroidery on the forehead, and a Lëvere or Kryqe which usually covers the head, shoulders and neck. Wealthy Albanian women wore headdresses embellished with gems, gold or silver.
MusicFor the Albanian people, Albanian music, music is a vital component to their and characterised by its own peculiar features and diverse melodic pattern reflecting the , and Lifestyle (sociology), way of life. It rather varies from region to another with two essential stylistic differences between the music of the s and s. Hence, their geographic position in Southeast Europe in combination with cultural, political and social issues is frequently expressed through music along with the accompanying Musical instrument, instruments and dances. Albanian folk music is contrasted by the heroic tone of the Ghegs and the relaxed sounds of the Tosks. Traditional Albanian iso-polyphony, iso-polyphony perhaps represents the most noble and essential genre of the Tosks which was proclaimed a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity by . Ghegs in contrast have a reputation for a distinctive variety of sung epic poetry often about the tumultuous history of the Albanian people. There are a number of international acclaimed singers of ethnic Albanian origin such as Ava Max, Bebe Rexha, Dua Lipa, Era Istrefi, Ermal Meta and Rita Ora, and rappers Action Bronson and Gashi (rapper), Gashi. In international competitions, Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest, Albania participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 2004. Albanians have also represented other countries in the contest: Anna Oxa for Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 1989, Italy in 1989, Adrian Gaxha for Macedonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008, North Macedonia in 2008, Ermal Meta for Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, Italy in 2018, Eleni Foureira for Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, Cyprus in 2018, as well as Gjon's Tears for Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, Switzerland in 2020 and 2021. Kosovo in the Eurovision Song Contest, Kosovo has never participated, but is currently applying to become a member of the European Broadcasting Union, EBU and therefore debut in the contest.
ReligionMany different Spirituality, spiritual traditions, religious faiths and beliefs are practised by the Albanian people who historically have succeeded to coexist peacefully over the centuries in Southeast Europe. They are traditionally both Christians and Muslims— Catholicism, Catholics and Orthodoxy, Orthodox, Sunnism, Sunnis and Bektashism, Bektashis and—but also to a lesser extant Evangelicalism, Evangelicals, other Protestants and Jews, constituting one of the most religiously diverse peoples of Europe. Christianity in Albania was under the jurisdiction of the until the 8th century. Then, dioceses in Albania were transferred to the . In 1054 after the schism, the north became identified with the Roman Catholic Church. Since that time all churches north of the river were Catholic and under the jurisdiction of the Pope. Various reasons have been put forward for the spread of Catholicism among northern Albanians. Traditional affiliation with the Latin rite and Catholic missions in central Albania in the 12th century fortified the Catholic Church against Orthodoxy, while local leaders found an ally in Catholicism against Slavic Orthodox states. After the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans, Christianity began to be overtaken by Islam, and Catholicism and Orthodoxy continued to be practiced with less frequency. During the modern era, the monarchy and communism in Albania as well as the socialism in Kosovo, historically part of , followed a systematic secularisation of its people. This policy was chiefly applied within the borders of both territories and produced a secular majority of its population. All forms of Christianity, and other religious practices were prohibited except for old non-institutional pagan practices in the rural areas, which were seen as identifying with the national culture. The current Albanian state has revived some pagan festivals, such as the Spring Day, Spring festival ( sq, Dita e Verës) held yearly on 14 March in the city of Elbasan. It is a national holiday. The communist regime which ruled Albania after World War II persecuted and suppressed religious observance and institutions, and entirely banned religion to the point where Albania was officially declared to be the world's first state atheism, atheist state. Religious freedom returned to Albania following the regime's change in 1992. Albanian Sunni Muslims are found throughout the country, Albanian Orthodox Church, Albanian Orthodox Christians as well as Bektashis are concentrated in the south, while Roman Catholics are found primarily in the north of the country. According to the 2011 Census, which has been recognised as unreliable by the Council of Europe, in Albania, 58.79% of the population adheres to Islam, making it the largest religion in the country. Christianity is practiced by 16.99% of the population, making it the second largest religion in the country. The remaining population is either irreligious or belongs to other religious groups. Before World War II, there was given a distribution of 70% Muslims, 20% Eastern Orthodox, and 10% Roman Catholics. Today, Gallup Global Reports 2010 shows that religion plays a role in the lives of only 39% of Albanians, and ranks Albania the thirteenth least religious country in the world. For part of its history, History of the Jews in Albania, Albania has also had a Jewish community. Members of the Jewish community were saved by a group of Albanians during the Nazi occupation.. Many left for Israel c. 1990–1992 when the borders were opened after the fall of the communist regime, but about 200 Jews still live in Albania.
See also* List of Albanians * History of Albania * Culture of Albania * Geography of Albania
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